Required Readings

Preschool sweathogs, girls’ schools, lady Bible teachers, “grit” , student data mining via Common Core- Required Readings 3/23/2014

Well, here’s some new links:

Suspended from Preschool?

What is the impact of same-sex educational settings?  The data is not clear.  Of course, if you’re a fundamentalist Christian woman who would like to lead  youth or adults in Bible study , you may not have a choice.

Ah, “Grit”: the latest popular theory to explain how children are weak willed inferior types if they aren’t on grade level. Here’s a little meditation on that from the chalkface.

Does “Common Core” = “data mine”?  They’re trying to figure that out in Louisiana.


Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning.Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!

Image by Speecharella

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Speecharella is a speech pathologist at a small public school district in a one of those states that is suspicious of teachers and other people with an unnatural fondness for taking courses and such.


  1. March 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm —

    I’m having difficulty with the link that seems to make up the second half of the second point (“a fundamentalist Christian woman who would like to lead youth or adults in Bible study , you may not have a choice.”) It just goes to a error page.

  2. March 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm —

    Delurking to say that that criticism of grit is very interesting–thanks for sharing! I recently went to a regional workshop on Paul Tough’s book (about grit), where he was a guest speaker. He emphasized that affluent children may have had too little failure in their lives (and thus need opportunities to fail then persevere in school) while children from impoverished backgrounds may have way too many stressors/trauma in their lives and thus need increased support rather than more chances to fail. So while I haven’t read the whole book, I think it’s more nuanced and compassionate than the critics are making it out to be. On the other hand, mental health can indeed complicate things, and I can see the point that emphasizing grit comes from a position of privilege. There was very little criticism or debate at the workshop I went to, and I think it is important to take a critical look at these new (not that new: most good teachers already do teach non-cognitive skills) ed fads before adding a grit grade to kids’ report cards or emblazoning the buzzwords on the walls (when my principal suggested this, I tried very hard not to roll my eyes).

    • March 25, 2014 at 11:46 am —

      Thanks for coming out of the shadows! I think that’s a good point- a lot of interesting and possibly useful pedagogical concepts become caricatures of their former iterations when they are put into a power point for “teacher training”. I mean , we have been hearing discussion about “resilience”, which has been helpful in my district , but that general concept has somehow morphed into “grit” which has really different subtext. Yesterday it was unseasonably cold where I live, and I happened to see a 4th grader working on a garden project ask to go get her jacket. Her teacher, a very able teacher wearing google glasses, let me repeat, google glasses, reminded the entire class that a lot of children don’t have jackets and they were just going to have to learn to work in the cold, though they were literally just steps away from their classroom. I assumed she just went to a training.

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